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Face coverings

From Friday 24 July it will be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets as well as on public transport and when attending hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

Children under 11 and people with certain medical conditions will be exempt. You can find out more on the Gov.uk website [external link].

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:38

Customer services update

From Monday 8th June we’re partially re-opening Customer Services Centre with new safety measures and social distancing in place. The new opening hours will be 10am to 3pm and we will be operating an appointment only service.

Decisions on opening are being made on a service by service basis, only select services will be available starting with birth registrations and marriage notices. The registration of deaths can be done over the phone on 01325 406400.
 
In order to keep customers and staff safe, and to ensure social distancing the way we operate will be very different and in line with Public Health and government guidance:

  • People will be seen by appointment only, no access will be granted without an appointment.
  • Please attend alone if possible to help with social distancing.
  • Please arrive at the time of your appointment, there will be no waiting areas.
  • Entrance and exiting the building will be managed by security.
  • You will be asked about Coronavirus symptoms when booking an appointment, and when entering the building – please do not attend if you have symptoms.
  • Staff will use PPE and will be working behind screens, you will be asked to sanitize your hands on entrance to the building.
  • No payments will be taken, all payments must be made online or over the phone.

Remember, no appointment, no entry

Useful information on how to contact other services can be found at our contacts page.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:38

Coronavirus: Changes to council services

As part of our response to the Coronavirus outbreak, we've had to scale back or suspend certain council services so others can keep going. 

  • All council car parks are free with immediate effect until further notice.
  • The tip is now open from 8am - 4.30pm every day (last entry 4pm) by appointment only. Strict social distancing measures are in place. Please only visit the tip if you really need to. Book a visit to the tip.
  • The start of this year’s garden waste service was delayed; garden waste collections will commenced on a two-weekly cycle from Tuesday 12 May
  • Our refuse and recycling collections will continue as normal.
  • Street Scene services are returning to full capacity from Monday 1 June, this includes emptying of litter and dog poo bins, street cleaning, grass cutting and the bulky waste collection service.
  • The land charges service has resumed as of Monday 18 May but with reduced resources.
  • School crossing patrols are suspended with immediate effect.
  • Parks will remain open to allow people the opportunity for their daily exercise but play areas will be closed. People must exercise alone or with people from their household and stay at least two metres away from other people.
  • Day opportunities for those with learning disabilities stopped with immediate effect.
  • Learning and Skills buildings are closed but online resources are being produced.
  • Essential housing maintenance only will be done.
  • Schools are issuing supermarket food vouchers in place of school meals.  Please contact individual schools for more detail. 
  • Planning applications are still being accepted but the committees are cancelled for now.
Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Support for businesses

The latest advice and support for businesses is available now on our dedicated Coronavirus advice for business page on our website.

This will be kept up to date with the latest information for Darlington businesses as the situation develops.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Housing

Covid-19 Coronavirus update

The latest about our responses – updated July 2020

The health & safety of our tenants, staff, suppliers and communities is our top priority. We have had to make a number of changes to our services including lettings, gas servicing and repair services.

Repairs & maintenance

As of Monday 8 June, we were once again able to schedule routine repairs for our customers.

Please be patient with us as we work through repairs that were reported to us during the lockdown period and those that had booked appointments before the restrictions came into place. 

All emergency and urgent jobs will continue to be carried out within their target dates.

If you contact us, please do not be concerned if we ask you if anyone in your household is currently self-isolating due to Covid-19. This is just so we can work with you to help protect everyone a much as possible and help prevent the spread of the virus.

During all visits to properties, all operatives will be following government guidance and have been provided with PPE. It is essential that we always practice social distancing so we’re continuing to remind our customers to remain at least two metres away from our trade operatives, where possible step into a separate room.

Gas safety checks

After a brief suspension, we’re pleased to let you know that our gas servicing is now up and running again. Gas servicing remains a priority for us as this is a legal requirement.

When arranging a gas servicing appointment our team will ask some questions to make sure we complete the appointment safely. If you’re self-isolating or shielding, it’s important to let us know so we can consider how we safely complete this work. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us on 01325 405333 or by emailing us at [email protected].

Digital tenancy

After a period of shutdown we have resumed online digital tenancy repairs requests. Appointments will be booked in advance to allow us to work through repairs in priority order.

Lettings

We have re-introduced the allocations service and have contacted all those applicants who were made an offer prior to the lockdown

Properties are available for you to place your bid. Please check the applying for a Council home page for available properties.

Resident involvement

We are following government guidelines and are currently unable to arrange meetings for some of our regular involvement groups in person. However, we are able to connect with our tenants online and through email. As ever, we want to connect with as many tenants as possible so if you are interested in getting involved and influencing how our services are delivered, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Frequently asked questions

We’re continuing to monitor the updates on COVID-19 from the government and Public Health England. If you contact us, please do not be concerned if we ask you if anyone in your household is currently self-isolating due to COVID-19.

Our services

Will coronavirus impact the services you can deliver?

Yes, unfortunately, some of our services are being affected but we’re still here to help and support customers. We do have plans in place to deliver our essential services, and we’re continuing to closely monitor the official guidance. We’re taking all the reasonable precautions to protect our customers and colleagues.

Will you still be carrying out repairs during the coronavirus outbreak?

Keeping our customers, colleagues and communities safe is our top priority. We are resuming a normal repair service albeit we will need a little time to catch up. We want to reassure you that we have everything in place to carry out repairs, compliance testing and routine works safely. We’ve worked hard to put additional safety measures in place to protect our colleagues and customers, and we’re following health and safety guidance at all times. It’s essential that we always practice social distancing, so we’re continuing to remind our customers at all times to remain at least two metres away from our trade operatives and, where possible step into a separate room while we’re in their home. We would also kindly ask that the property is ventilated and suitable hand washing facilities are available for the operatives.

I’m due a gas service soon, will this still go ahead?

After a brief suspension, we’re pleased to let you know that our gas servicing is up and running again. Annual gas safety checks are a legal requirement, so our colleagues are completing these jobs, where it’s safe for us and the customer. If you were shielding or self-isolating, please contact as soon as possible so we can discuss your options.

I’m struggling to pay my rent – what help can I get?

We don’t want anyone to be at risk of losing their home because of the virus. If you’re having difficulties, speak to us as soon as possible, and we can discuss how we can help you.

I’m due to have some investment work done to my property. Will this still go ahead?

We have put our plans on hold, but we’re getting in touch with customers to discuss this.

Will housing officers visit my home?

Officers won’t be carrying out any home visits for now, although you can, of course still contact your Housing Officer should you require. You can do this by emailing us at [email protected].

Will complaints and anti-social behaviour cases still be investigated?

We're still dealing with complaints and anti-social behaviour enquiries, but these will be done over the telephone until further notice, so if you need to speak to us, please give us a call on 01325 405333 or email us at [email protected].

Can I move home?

We are again letting homes, but we do ask that you bear with us. The restrictions on letting our empty homes during lockdown has left us with a backlog of empty properties and priority applications but we are working through these as quickly as possible. Please be patient with us we’re nearly there.

Can I view a property I’ve successfully bid on?

Yes, but we are going to be doing things a bit differently to ensure our customers and colleagues are safe. For the foreseeable future, we’ll be carrying out unaccompanied viewings. Before any unaccompanied viewing we will ask you if you are showing any symptoms of COVID 19 and if you are then obviously the viewing can’t go ahead at that time.

Can I still terminate my tenancy?

We have contacted those customers who have already let us know they'd like to terminate their tenancy and one of our team will have been in touch to talk through options with them. If you have been waiting for the restrictions to lift before terminating your tenancy, it is important you speak to us as soon as possible and you can do this by contacting us on 01325 405333 or emailing us at [email protected].

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Advice on offering takeaway/delivery services

Are you a food business looking to change the way you work because of COVID-19?

We've compiled some advice and guidance if you're considering starting to offer a takeaway or delivery service.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Events

It's with a heavy heart, we've taken the decision to cancel or postpone all our events until the end of June. This is in line with Government advice and to help make sure we come through this difficult time as quickly as possible.

For events after this date, we will review the situation nearer the time. 

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Schools

We have been in close contact with schools across Darlington during recent weeks, as headteachers and governing bodies worked hard to put plans in place to support possible re-opening. The answer to the question of what will be open and when varies from school to school. Parents can contact their child’s school for the latest information on opening. The safety of students and staff is the top priority for all concerned.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Resident parking permits

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing we ask you to please please email [email protected] for all information regarding obtaining or renewing a residents parking permit rather than coming to the customer contact centre.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39

Council car parks

Council car parks, long stay and short are free of charge until further notice.

Payments for fines and penalty notices can be made online, by sending in cheques, or you can call the parking office on 01325 405978.

Please do not visit the Town Hall in person unless absolutely necessary.

Last updated: 23/07/2020 11:44:39